Saturday, April 24, 2010
April 19, 2010 11am-2pm Sunny 65` Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge, South Kingstown RI
If you ask most any RI birder their favorite place to bird in Rhode Island they would probably say Trustom Pond. The large salt water pond attracts huge numbers of migrating waterfowl: Scaup, Goldeneye, nesting Mute Swans and so on. As well as being an excellent place to see waterfowl, Trustom is also a host to nesting osprey and many other raptor species will migrate through this area. And when spring migration gets going it really gets exciting. Warblers hang around the woods while Tree Swallows, the most common swallows in April, fly over the pond and the many meadows making people stop and watch with delight and think how beautiful birds are. Today was one of the best days that I have ever had while birding at Trustom and in a matter of a few hours we had a list of eighteen or so species. Here are the highlights: Field Sparrow, this beautifully proportioned bird was flitting through the bushes making sure not to let us get a good look at him - too bad. A few minutes after seeing the Field Sparrow we found a beautiful American Kestrel who came soaring in at around one thirty and landed on an island. Though we enjoyed watching him the Tree Swallows did not and promptly attacked the poor bird. The Kestrel was a year bird for us. WOO HOO! There was a winter plumage Red-Throated Loon relentlesly diving out in the pond. This bird was also a year bird. YAY! (I should mention that I am not recording these birds in the order that I saw them.) In a little cove I discovered a Mallard Black-Duck hybrid drake, my second of the year. Another year bird were two Eastern Towhees who both found that a moss covered stone wall was the best place to sit and muse. One of the very last birds we glimpsed was a Brown Thrasher (not thrashing) by the bird feeders (which is one of the best set ups of bird feeders that I have ever seen). But by far the best birds we observed was a group of a dozen Glossy Ibis enjoying their flight through the fresh sea breeze watching the gulls and cormorants on the pond far below them. Another pair flew over just a few minutes after. The best year bird of the day. Sadly we didn't have time to visit Moonstone Beach, another birding hotspot just down the street which offers great views of Trustom as well as the Atlantic Ocean.